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Hoot (2006) WS R2 Retail DVD
Adventure, Comedy, Family
If viewers rent this movie to see the cute, adorable burrowing owls, they are in for a real disappointment, as the owls only appear briefly in two scenes. The rest of the film is a bland mish-mash of environmental consciousness and silly plot points. And there's not much that rings true, especially when the central conceit of the movie is the implausible idea of building a pancake house in the middle of a tropical forest.
Pretending to skewer the greed of land developers and big corporations, Hoot centers in Roy Eberhardt (Logan Lerman) who is wrenched from Montana ranch country when his dadmore… is transferred once again, this time to small-town Florida. Roy has a bit of a hard time fitting in to the local scene; relentlessly bullied by the class idiot he's rescued by the tough Beatrice (Brie Larsen), star of the girl's soccer team.
Roy soon discovers that Beatrice has a connection to a mysterious sprinting nature-boy known as Mullet Fingers (Cody Linley), whose mission, should Roy choose to accept his part in it, is to sabotage the pancake house construction site, the future home of Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House, which is actually the refuge of a collection of burrowing owls.
The dopey contractor Curly (Tim Blake Nelson) can't get ahead on construction because vandals keep pulling up his surveying stakes and the even stupider Officer Dan Delinko (Luke Wilson) is assigned to catch the vandal or vandals who step up their opposition to Mother Paula's by putting alligators in the site's portable toilets.
It doesn't take much imagination to figure out that the kids are going to triumph over the nasty pancake developer (Clark Gregg) and what looked good on paper - the movie is based on Carl Hiaasen's book - doesn't necessarily transfer well to the screen. Wilson's character is the funniest and most interesting and the only scene of real interest is when he falls asleep in his squad car only waking to find all the windows spray-painted black and has to get around in a vehicle that looks like a golf cart.
The film as a whole is insipid and sloppily directed, the actors - particularly the teenagers are unmemorable and the action is just too precious for words. We never really find out why characters do what they do and their dialogue is dreadfully artificial, and their back-stories are too absurd for words. The errant subplots go nowhere and the movie has an episodic TV quality that is so pronounced, it's almost embarrassing to watch.
Admittedly the owls are cute, but if you blink you'll miss them. I really had to struggle to get through this film and if the burrowing owls and other susceptible species in southern Florida have to depend on movies like this to raise public compassion and understanding, they really are in trouble. Give this one a big miss. Mike Leonard August 06.
- Movies > Films
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- Hoot (2006) WS R2 Retail DVD
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- 23/02/07 by bki
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